Having recently completed Psychonauts for the first time, I can safely say that the game has some of the most creative selection of levels I’ve ever seen in a video game. These levels take place in the minds of various characters you meet over the course of your adventure and can tell you a lot about the person in question. (It really makes me wonder what my mind would look like…) So today, I thought it would be fun to rank all the levels of Psychonauts in order from worst to best! And when it’s all done, be sure to let us know your favorite and least favorite levels in the comments below!
10: Meat Circus – Meat Circus is the infamous final level of the game, and it was as bad as everyone says. (And yes, it is a circus made of meat, which is…kind of disturbing.) This place is very difficult, doesn’t have as many checkpoints as I would have liked, and every minute or so, a very intrusive, ghostly voice calls Raz’s name. The last thing I need in such an aggravating level are annoying distractions! Maybe you could say it’s…creative, but this level alone makes me never want to play the game again, and I think that’s enough reason to put it at the bottom.
9: Brain Tumbler Experiment – This journey into Raz’s own mind didn’t feel terribly cohesive, and it was the one level where it didn’t seem to offer any real insight into the character it was meant to portray. It’s also rather annoying that you can’t finish it in one go, but have to return multiple times with new abilities you learned.
8: Sasha’s Shooting Gallery – This level takes place on various sides of a large cube and mainly involved you having to shoot the censors and put a stop to their onslaught. The level might have done a good job representing Sasha’s serious personality, but it wasn’t exactly super interesting. Sorry, Sasha, but your mind bores me.
7: Oleander’s Basic Braining – The tutorial level takes place in Coach Oleander’s mind and is war-themed. It’s a perfectly decent tutorial stage, but a bit too long, if you ask me. I also learned quite early on that attempting to collect all of the figments is not a fun endeavor.
6: Milla’s Dance Party – This level is pretty easy and is dedicated to learning how to use the levitation ability. Considering Milla is probably the most mentally healthy person in the game, her mind also doesn’t contain anything particularly interesting (aside from one dark memory that I missed during my playthrough…). It’s a perfectly fine level, but not super memorable.
5: Lungfishopolis – This was a pretty entertaining level and marked the point where I started to have more fun with the game. In this level, Raz appears as a giant monster terrorizing a city inhabited by lungfish. My biggest complaint is the frequent interruptions to the gameplay for news reports giving updates on the military’s efforts to take Raz down. Amusing though these were, they really should have played during the gameplay rather than in cut scenes.
4: Gloria’s Theater – This level was quite small and not the strongest gameplay-wise, but I can forgive some of these shortcomings because it was also a great representation of Gloria’s bipolar disorder and explained her past quite well. It also utilized the small space pretty well by changing up the scenery on stage. The biggest issue was all the dialogue that interrupted the gameplay. The dialogue might have been effective story-wise, but it could get tedious from a gameplay perspective, just like the news reports in Lungfishopolis.
3: Waterloo World – Frankly, I didn’t enjoy most of the boss battles in this game, so this level already gets points for not having one. Anyway, this level is all about a strategy game being played between Fred and the memory of his ancestor, none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. This level was quite unique, and I enjoyed the dialogue with Fred and the various people you needed to recruit on his behalf.
2: Black Velvetopia – Artistically, this is a very interesting level, with vibrant colors that stand out against the black background. The level appears like a Spanish town inhabited by dogs who are basically being held hostage by the constant rampage of the fierce bull, El Odio. Unlike many of the stages, I actually thought the platforming was fun rather than frustrating, and the four mini boss battles against the wrestlers were quite amusing.
1: Milkman Conspiracy – Everyone was talking about how great the Milkman Conspiracy was, and I now understand why people love this one so much. It is quite clear that something is amiss in this seemingly normal suburb, where cameras appear to be hidden everywhere and government agents masquerade as regular workers. Not only is this level really unique and does an excellent job of portraying a paranoid personality, but it is home to some of the best dialogue in the game, most notably the famous: “I am the milkman. My milk is delicious.”